In a big relief to an 18-year-old student who had almost lost his seat in IIT-Bombay by unintentionally clicking on a wrong link, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the institute to regularise his admission in an engineering course.
Siddhant Batra, a resident of Agra, had lost the seat for the four-year electrical engineering course after he "inadvertently" clicked on a "wrong" link, which was seeking consent to withdraw from the process. He moved the top court through advocate Pratiksha Sharma.
A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy on Wednesday regularized his admission, after it granted him interim admission in an engineering course on December 9. According to Batra's lawyer, her client won the case and the top court has disposed off his plea. Sharma said the top court emphasized that this order should not be treated as a precedent.
"Our appeal was allowed and admission regularised. It will not be treated as a precedent for other students who have withdrawn. This was a relief for meritorious Siddhant (AIR 270) who committed an error by mistake under a bonafide intention and Supreme Court intervened and helped save his career," said Sharma.
On December 9, the top court had said: "List in the reopening miscellaneous week after the winter recess. In the meantime, by interim order, we direct that the petitioner should be permitted to join the respondent-institution and pursue his course subject to fulfilment of all other formalities."
In the plea, Batra had sought direction to the IIT to consider his case on humanitarian grounds. He said he lives with his grandparents following the death of his parents, and submitted that he had worked hard to clear the IIT-JEE exam. Batra requested the creation of an additional seat to undo his loss.
Earlier, in his plea before the Bombay High Court, Batra submitted that he had lost his father at a young age and lost his mother in 2018.
In the last hearing, the counsel for Director, IIT-Bombay had drawn the top court's attention to Rule 46 to submit that Batra had frozen his seat as per the said rule and completed the process.
Batra moved the top court challenging the Bombay High Court, which dismissed his plea on November 23, saying that it cannot intervene at this stage as all the seats for the course were full.
The High Court, citing the IIT-Bombay submissions, had emphasized the admission rules had to be followed and Batra could apply next year for JEE (Advanced).
Batra had secured All India Rank (AIR) of 270 in JEE Advanced exams and secured admission, but he had clicked the wrong link which was meant to withdraw his seat.
Senior advocate Basava Prabhu S Patil argued the matter on behalf of Batra before the court.